A sandstorm covered the Curiosity rover and hampered his research mission.
The global map of Mars shown here shows a growing sandstorm that was recorded on June 6, 2018. The map was created by the Color Block for the Formation of Martian Images (MARCI), a camera mounted aboard the MRO (NASA) spacecraft. The blue dot on the photo indicates the approximate location of the Curiosity rover.
We would like to remind you that all the scientific operations for Curiosity were temporarily suspended in order to protect the scientific instruments of the rover from the sandstorm.
The Martian Reconnaissance Apparatus first discovered the current sandstorm on Friday, June 1. As soon as the technical team saw how close the rover is from the sandstorm, it immediately stopped all research of the rover.
With each passing day the storm gathers momentum and bends under itself an ever larger territory. Now it has covered more than 18 square kilometers, that is, an area that exceeds the area of North America. The storm did not ignore the Perseverance Valley, where Curiosity is currently located.
Such storms are dangerous for rovers, as they cover their solar panels with dust, thus depriving them of the opportunity to recharge their batteries.